Fantasy Forward: Rendon’s monster day and Thor’s pending MRI

It is difficult to overshadow the type of day Anthony Rendon turned in during the Nationals rout over the Mets on Sunday. But, for fantasy purposes, many will be focused on how the MRI on Noah Syndergaard turns out. Twitter went crazy with varying reports about the injury, but as the dust settled, it appears a latissimus injury may be the winner. Whether or not it’s related to his biceps soreness from last week remains to be seen. For now, a stint on the disabled list seems inevitable.

Syndergaard not only walked a hitter, which snapped a personal 31 strikeout streak without one, he allowed five earned runs in 1.1 innings of work prior to leaving with the Mets trainer. Then Rendon took over. He homered in consecutive at-bats against Sean Gilmartin, then catcher Kevin Plawecki in the eighth to finish 6-for-6 with 10 RBI and became the fourth player to record six hits in as many at-bats along with being the first since Garret Anderson to finish with 10 RBI since 2007. By the way, Washington scored 77 runs in this fantasy week four and finished 4 – 3. Joe Ross received 38 runs of support without winning a game. Allow this to marinate.

While the Mets rotation depth seems to be dwindling, Rafael Montero would be in line to replace Syndergaard later this week. Other injury news of note includes no timetable for Pablo Sandoval’s return, Ryan Braun left Sunday’s game with a tight trapezius, Aaron Sanchez only pitched an inning before leaving his first start back from the disabled list, and David Price pitched two innings in a simulated game. He’s scheduled for three innings this Thursday.

Arizona won in extra innings and extended the franchise’s record to seven straight games with at least 11 strikeouts as a staff. Texas shuffled the roster claiming Peter Kozma from waivers and sending Jurickson Profar to the minors. Those who stashed Jose Berrios could see him debut next weekend as the Twins will need a fifth starter on Saturday. Berrios worked eight innings on Sunday at Triple-A allowing two hits, no runs, two walks and striking out seven. Detroit optioned Joe Jimenez to the minors as they try to find major league arms ready for the bullpen. Now for the recaps.

Hitter’s highlights

Those who took Bryce Harper after pick eight, celebrate. He scored more runs in April, than anyone with 32 and finished the month with a .510 on-base percentage. Only two players have scored more than 150 runs since the second World War, Ted Williams in 1949 and Jeff Bagwell in 2000. Harper’s currently on pace for 207 runs.

One more fun fact on Rendon. Prior to Sunday’s game his slash line of .226/.316/.250 had him on some benches prior to his outburst. After the game, his first month’s line looks much better: .278/.356/.411. Patience.

Miguel Sano leads the American League in RBIs after the first month of the season with 25. He’s hitting .316 with a 1.127 OPS and hit his seventh home run yesterday along with five RBIs.

Miami’s Justin Bour became the sixth player in franchise history with at least four hits and six RBI in the same game. He finished 4-for-5 with a double and a home run.

Not only did Freddie Freeman hit his ninth home run of the season, but it marked the 34th over his last 446 at-bats for a 13.12 HR/AB rate. Prior to this stretch dating back to June 13th last year, Freeman averaged a home run every 25.98 at-bats. Teammate Tyler Flowers is hitting .405/.511/.459 during his last 13 games.

Justin Turner extended his hit streak to 16-games with three more on Sunday and he’s hitting over .400 with April in the books. Los Angeles will have some tough roster decisions to make with Joc Pederson due back on Friday.

Slowly but surely Matt Carpenter is turning his season around. After a slow start and injury issues, he has driven in nine runs over his last four games. A power binge could ensue next.

Two Brewers showed signs of life with Domingo Santana hitting two home runs and driving in all four runs during their win on Sunday. But he’s hitting .197 along with teammate Keon Broxton’s .191 start. At least Broxton stole his sixth base, but the team needs both outfielders show sings of improving.

Wil Myers homered in back-to-back games in San Francisco to push his season total to seven with 20 RBI’s and a .310 average for the month.

Cleveland won again with Francisco Lindor hitting his seventh home run and Michael Brantley his fifth. Someday, Edwin Encarnacion will remind why he’s such a terrific power hitter. When he gets hot, this lineup will not be fun to deal with.

Jose Abreu recorded his sixth straight multi-hit game on Sunday going 12-for-22 (.545) during the streak with two doubles, two home runs and five RBI raising his average from .183 prior to .280 entering May.



Starting pitcher observations

Chris Archer did not factor in the decision, but worked 7.1 innings with one earned run allowed, four hits against, two walks, and five strikeouts to lower his ERA to 3.43. He did throw a pitch behind Jose Bautista, so see if any sanctions will affect him in the days ahead.

It did not translate into a pitcher’s duel in Miller Park, but Mike Foltynewicz deserved a better fate with six strikeouts in six innings of work, but allowed four runs (one earned) in a road loss. His results may keep him off some radars, but the 2.81 ERA and 3.89 FIP provide hope for the future. Matt Garza won for the first time this season with seven strikeouts. Tread lightly.

The American League pitcher of the month should reside in Houston with Dallas Keuchel moving to 5 – 0 on the year with a 1.21 ERA for the month. On Sunday, he struck out nine in 7.2 innings of work and generated 19 swinging strikes against Oakland.

Flying well below the radar, J.C. Ramirez won again working 5.1 innings with nine strikeouts to lower his ERA to 4.23 this year and raising his record to 3 – 2. Ramirez induced eight swinging strikes with his slider.

Not only is Patrick Corbin healthy, his slider was nasty on Sunday. Corbin produced 15 swinging strikes with the pitch against Colorado during 6.1 shutout innings allowing only two hits and striking out six.

Rookie German Marquez matched Corbin with six shutout innings of his own and eight strikeouts. His mix of four-seam fastballs with an effective curve kept Arizona bats off-balance.

Hyun-Jin Ryu won for the first time in 973 days. He worked 5.1 innings allowing three hits, one earned run, three walks and struck out nine. Ryu finished with 15 swinging strikes, six via the change and five with his curve. If healthy, he’s worth speculation for fantasy purposes.

Although he did not factor in the decision, Eduardo Rodriguez struck out nine Cubs in six innings of work with a whopping 16 swinging strikes, of which nine resulted from his dominant change. His ERA lowered to 2.70 on the year, and he’s an X-factor in this rotation.

Bullpen musings

Sometimes fantasy owners benefit from short outings. Both Kenley Jansen and Ken Giles recorded one out saves.

Roberto Osuna bounced back for his third save of the year with a hit allowed and two strikeouts to lower his ERA to 5.63. There’s hope for a rebound in his 2.62 FIP moving forward. Track his velocities.

Trusting Bud Norris in fantasy does not come easy, but he has saved five games, pitched 1.1 innings yesterday, and all of his outs were by strikeout. No, I’m not kidding.

Statistical Credits: Fangraphs.com, BaseballSavant.com, MLB.com, ESPN.go.com

 

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Greg Jewett
I am a father, PE teacher & fantasy baseball writer. Using saber metrics & information to evaluate players & trends is exciting to me."Passion is the oxygen of the soul." Bill Butler